Early Morning Rantings!

Once again I am awakened at 2am, just am not meant to sleep like a normal person should right now.  I wake up and I am just…up…no going back to sleep in the immediate future.

I had a really great conversation with a great woman that I have been talking to lately.  It wasn’t an easy chat at all, but it was good for both of us I believe.  I confided in her a good bit about my addiction history, and she didn’t go running away like a scared cat. Addiction is not an easy topic to navigate and I admire her for her inquisitiveness on the topic, as it is a big part of who I am and why I am.  I look forward to more conversations with her, about everything.  She is someone I very much want to keep in my life.  🙂

Today was a bit hectic, but seriously productive. I worked til 1pm and then got together with my best friend and went to do our Friday afternoon errands around town.  Every Friday we have a ritual of doing this.  It’s called living paycheck to paycheck.  We get paid, go out and pay our bills, do the shopping for our respective households and take care of whatever else needs doing in town.  It is a struggle sometimes, but I make it work somehow.  And I realize that there are millions of others who are making it work this way as well.  It’s not easy in today’s economy or job market to do it any other way – especially if you don’t have a college education to fall back on, which I don’t.  Sometimes it feels likeI am always trying to play catch up on things, but hey, that’s just how it is.  I do alright.

I visited Trader Joe’s grocery this afternoon, I love that place!  I actually requested an employment application when I was checking out, and the woman who checked me out told me it was a super great place to work.  Everyone in there seems pretty pleasant and happy to be there, so they must enjoy the job.  I love the diversity of people in the place, from old hippies, to housewives, to young dykes, it’s just a palate of different people. They must have a really good company equality policy.  I am going to research the company a bit just to be sure that I would be a good fit there.

I also visited Staples office supply store on my excursion about town.  I needed a ream of copy paper.  They had a really good deal on some excellent quality paper that I had to take advantage of!  That is another place I could picture myself working.  Although a bit more “stuffy” than Trader Joe’s eclectic atmosphere, it would be fun.  I was in the corporate business world for many years and used to frequent the place quite a bit for supplies for my company.  I imagine working with people who were doing the same thing would be right up my alley in skill sets. And being the techno nerd that I am, I can imagine I would probably reinvest in the company and that might not be a good idea!  I’d be buying stuff like crazy.

Meanwhile, in Trumpy-land the Twitterverse is running wild with Trumpy stuff.  This Russian connection thing is really getting out of hand, Jeff Sessions needs to resign and a full investigation needs to ensue.  It just has to happen to put this subject into some sort of understandable terms. I was Tweeting with a friend in Texas who is petrified right now.  Being our age and queer isn’t going to be an easy path under Trump as he keeps going along with ripping away our rights and equalities.  It’s also just plain scary as an American, not withstanding being a part of the LGBTQ community!   Everyone seems to feel the impending doom of being attacked in some way by all of the executive orders and wild things that Trump and his team are doing or proposing to do.  I know I’m fucking scared.

Living in Maine has some pretty unique advantages.  Where I live especially because geographically it’s a great spot.  Right between Boston Mass, and Portland Maine.  I can be at the beach in 5 minutes, in the White Mountains in less than an hour and to either of the two cities in about 45 minutes.  Geographically it’s fucking perfection.  Maine also has a good equality rating. I just read an article in the Bangor Daily News about Maine being at the top when it comes to gender equality.  We also have good protections for the LGBTQ citizens here too.  I am glad that I live in this type of state.  From personal experience I can say that there IS really good gender equality.  Maine women are a fierce and tough lot.  Especially those from “down” Maine, which is actually upstate Maine…it’s a Maine thing…those women are hardened by the lifestyle of living in a very rural state, where you have to be fairly tough to survive.  I live in the more populated area, it’s a bit easier to navigate life here, but my cousins are down Mainers’ and they are not to be messed with.  The women are equal to the men up there in so many ways, they do equal work and expect equal pay. And truth be known, I believe they run the whole fucking show!  I have a healthy respect for my down Maine women cousins. They take no prisoners.

I hope your weekend is a great one!  Signing off from southern Maine….Peace!  ~MB

 

Living in Maine…the Quirks

north-church-12-16Today was a true test of my patience.  When I woke up it was only  3 degrees outside, so it was really bone chilling cold.  I went to get water for the coffee maker and encountered the fact that the pipes were dangerously cold…as I couldn’t get water, meaning they had an ice block already!  Luckily by working the water for a few minutes I got it flowing again and all was fine.

I went to work and everything was pretty good.  We did our Friday order at the store and I worked until 11am (I left early today, I usually work a couple of hours longer).  I got off work and got everything together to go register my vehicle.  I’ve been driving for a few days now on an expired registration. So, off to the motor vehicle place I went.  I had to go to the main office because our town hall is closed on Fridays.  I made the long drive up to the main office, which took me about 45 minutes.

I got to the office and found out that I could not register without going to the town hall first to pay the excise taxes.  Bummer!  I drove all that way, and now had to drive all the way back home – without having accomplished my mission.  I did take the time to update my drivers license, which took all of 5 minutes, while I was there.  I needed to update the address and have a new license photo taken.  So at least I got that done and off the list.  But still I am driving on expired plates until Monday when the town hall opens.

When I got home it was a mere 50 degrees in my house.  It seems the furnace wasn’t working.  Fuck.  Just what I needed, a 3rd obstacle in my day.  I had to search out and call the furnace repair guys and get them out here to solve the problem.  The furnace guys arrived and dismantled the unit, to find that I needed a new ignitor and new nozzles.  I had used regular oil in the tank, not blend as recommended, and the oil had slushed up in the filter.  It’s so fucking cold that even oil freezes!  The repair guys had to run for a part, but they did return and got it fixed and running once again.  I cranked it up to a whopping 72 degrees and let her rip.  Man, was it nice to come back from Walmart to a very cozy, warm house!

I got home after my trip to Walmart at around 7:00pm and I was some damned tired.   My eyes were closing as I was driving home – not a good thing!  I had just been at it all day and was beat to shit.  Once I settled in and got everything put away I had something to eat and then laid in the living room on the couch. I fell asleep very fast, and slept very hard.  At about 12:30am I fell OFF of the couch onto the floor in my sleep.  It was comical and luckily I didn’t hit my head on the heavy glass coffee table in front of the couch on my way down.  It startled me awake, that’s for sure!  I  blame Nola.  She sleeps along side of me and steals my space. She kind of “expands” during her sleep, spreading herself out in all directions.  So she had me on the very edge of the couch, thus my easy tumble off of it.

It was just one of “those” days.  Nothing could go right.  I was not letting any of it trouble  me too much, there was nothing I could do except just deal with each issue as it arose.  I kept my cool and managed to make it through the day without blowing a gasket.  Amazing because just a short few months ago I would have been losing it.

It was just a day of some weird luck, on the very coldest day of the year.  I’ve seen it cold here, but rarely does it get this cold ever.  And it’s supposed to start warming up today, then we are going to get a fresh new 6″ coat of snow and it’s going to be up in the mid-40’s tomorrow (Sunday), which will cause some icing and melting.   I need to focus on snow control today, making sure that I am clearing my driveway periodically so that I am not having to shovel or blow the snow all at once.  It’s easier if you go out and clear it up every couple of inches or so.  Once it gets deep and heavy it’s a bitch to clean up!

These are all great examples of life in Maine…we deal with Artic freezes, frozen pipes, furnace issues, snow control and town-halls that are closed on Fridays. I’m not complaining though, I know these things about living here and I accept them as part of the overall package.  Everywhere you can live has it’s quirks.  Plus, I do love living here, despite any of the little “hardships”.  It’s a great place to live and I enjoy it for the most part.

Hope you are staying warm wherever you are on this big blue marble.  What’s it like weather wise where you live right now?  What are some of the quirks you deal with living where you live?

Peace!   ~MB

fort-foster-sea-smoke

This picture was taken by Steve Mutch from Fort Foster in Kittery Point on Dec. 16, 2017. It’s a beautiful example of “sea smoke” on the water.  The structure is the old Coast Guard Station – which is currently being saved by the historical society and rebuilt. 

The top photo was taken by Philip Case Cohen and is of the old North Church in downtown Portsmouth, NH – just over the border, this is the closest city to me.  I love walking in downtown on a snowy day, it’s just beautiful and really puts me in the Christmas spirit.

Saturday…More of DC…

It’s Saturday, a beautiful Spring like day too.  Unusual weather for the end of February. It’s been a mild winter this year, thank the powers that be. I opened the door in my office that goes outside/out back and let the fresh air pour in today.  It was glorious. Sunshine and sweet cool air.  It felt good in my lungs and on my skin.  The dogs were loving it too.  Lulu took to running giant circles in the yard and into and out of the house, over and over.  Nola basked in the warm sunshine on the porch, watching the world.  Yes, it’s a very nice day.

I’m going to jump ahead in the DC story to when I lived on 14th and T Street in DC itself.

I moved into a group house on the corner of 14th and T Street in NW DC.  It was an area heavy in prostitution and street crime, but the house was a gorgeous 4 story row house of brick and mortar. I loved the place. The owners had completely gutted the place and redone it, so it was very nice.  Five bedrooms, a bathroom on every floor and a great open space living room and kitchen with a bar that separated the two.  Sweet digs.

I moved in with my lover, Jaye.  She and I were on the top floor where there were two bedrooms and a shared bathroom.  We had a guy from Italy living there on the top floor, who was one who exuded hair in the shower, it was always a beef of mine that he didn’t clean out the shower drain when he was done.  Italian dudes are hairy.  And Matteo was no different.

I was the only one that worked in the house.  The rest of the residents, all of 5 others, were students at American.  Including my girl.  The house was full of very good, studious kids who were working hard to make it through school and into real life.  I was a blue collar worker who busted my ass to make enough money to live.  I should have stayed in the Army, I recall thinking that a million times over the years.  By the time I moved into this place I had gotten a job back in the pool and spa industry, a more up my alley line of work and something I had experience in and loved to do.  I was working in Gaithersburg for a regional supplier of hot tubs, spas, steam rooms and saunas.  It was hard work, but I loved it.

Living in the prostitution district gave me a lot of new things to learn.  Like lock the back of my truck up or they would use it to turn tricks.  Also, everytime I parked it on the street I would be approached by two or three girls before I got to my door step who wanted to know if I needed a “date”…this was always amusing to me.  I used to play it up with them and teasingly ask ” why?  you offering me something?”  or “no, I have plenty of girls in the house here….do YOU need a date?”  Over time I came to know some of the regulars and they recognized me and realized I lived on the street. It was a very African American neighborhood, so seeing a dumb white dyke from Maine wandering around was bound to get looks.

One time I had a friend of our living in our room for a short time, she’d been kicked out of her rich parents’ home in DC. She also attended American and was into theater quite heavily – she was also a stripper in a swanky Georgetown men’s club.  Grace was quite the character.  Loud in voice and appearance, her bleach blonde hair and very provocative manner of dress got her recognized as a handful.  She was funny, fun to hang out with and fun to party with, but she was trouble too.

Grace, when she’d been evicted from home, stole one of her parent’s Mercedes cars.  It was silver and a damned gorgeous automobile.  She let me drive it a few times, and it was awesome.  She was always hiding the car because she didn’t want them to find it and take it back.  They of course, never called the cops about it, so I never understood why she was worried.

She would come in at all hours of the morning loud and drunk or high.  She had a girlfriend who was sometimes with her.  Both were pretty much strung out most of the time.

One night around Christmas time when there was snow on the walkways and it was freezing cold Grace and I decided to play with the hookers for fun.  I was a wise ass, and pretty rough around the edges.  The hookers knew me, but their pimps didn’t as they weren’t usually around.  Grace and I got this idea, from her theater teachings, and so we staged a show for them.

Grace drove up to the house and parked out front in the Mercedes, I opened the door and yelled at her “GET YER HO ASS UP HERE!” from the front porch.  She made a big scene coming toward me and the working girls on the corner started to watch us.  As she got closer I was yelling at her about “Where you been?!” and “Where’s my money?!” kinds of stuff. When she reached the steps I hauled off and smacked her upside the face (not really, just a theatrical slap, we had planned this) and she stumbled backwards and fell in the snow.  The girls on the corner were getting visibly upset at my actions, I could see them talking and gesturing as I was continuing to put a theatrical beating on Grace.  Suddenly, unexpectedly, a black sedan pulled up next to the Mercedes.  Uh oh.  A guy in the sedan started trying to talk to Grace. He was obviously a pimp, and this was his street.  I thought I would now be killed.

“You don’t need her beating on you, come with me.” he said to Gracie.

We were in a heap of trouble I thought, but Gracie knew these guys and their kind better than me and my back-woods upbringing.  She’s grown up in DC and knew the street wise ways better than I did.  Somehow she got out of talking to him, he drove off and we retreated inside the row house to safety!  Jesus.  It was something I never tried again.

After that incident the street girls treated me a bit different. They were convinced that I was running girls for hire out of the row house, which I thought was very funny.  They gave me a wider berth when I drove up to park, they were nicer to me and even would try to engage me in conversation on occasion.

We had some good times in that row house.  Christmas came and all the kids in the house went home for the holidays, I had to stay and work.  No “school vacation” for this working stiff.

On Christmas Eve I was on the phone with my mom in Maine. I was lonely and alone for the holidays in DC.  It was a particularly ruckus night outside, I could hear the banter on the street and hear the cars squealing tires etc.  I had walked over to the corner store and gotten cigarrettes and called home when I returned. As I was on the phone with Mom I was sitting at the counter that separated the kitchen from the living room, sort of facing the stone wall in the corner.  Suddenly there was a crack and a bullet lodged itself in the stone work just past my head, little stone chips flew.  I immediately dropped the phone and dropped to the floor.  My Army training kicked in.  I picked up the phone, tried to sound like nothing happened as I sat on the floor, below window level and finished my call.  When I was done I went over and found the bullet hole in the window.  I was lucky.

It was soon after this that we moved over to 5th and H in NE DC….where the riots had devastated the city  years earlier after the MLK killing.

No where in DC is completely safe…and you would think that being the capital of our country it would be the safest place to be…not so, not so at all.

Thoes of Thursday…

2016-02-25 14.16.21Called out of work sick today. I woke up with a headache and just couldn’t take the light in my eyes.  I suffer with migraines, I have for years.  They are not as frequent or as bad as they used to be (before menopause) but they still happen occasionally.  When I get them I have to basically halt all activity and lay still, eyes covered and silence.  I take prescription migraine meds, but I find that the OTC Excedrin Migraine works just as good if not better sometimes. Today it was one Excedrin and some down time and I was okay. But it wasn’t until about 9:30am that I could really function again.

It was the first time I have called out sick from work.  I felt bad, but I just couldn’t go in like that.  Hopefully they had enough people to cover.  I notice that some people call out quite frequently..I am not like that.  If I call out it will always be that I am legitimately ill or something  really serious came up and I had to call out.  I hate when I’m on shift and someone I depend upon calls out and I know it’s just because they wanted a day off.

I went to the barber shop this afternoon and got my hair cut and edged.  It feels so good to have a spiffy new fresh haircut.  I always enjoy the feeling it gives me.   Plus as you all know I love my visits to the Loaded Dice Boston Barbers immensely.  I wrote a description of the place out to someone today, and realized again how fucking cool that place IS.  Although I still miss Johnny, my old regular barber who isn’t there anymore for some really fucked up reasons.  I hope he’s doing okay wherever he is.

So tomorrow is Friday.  I have no plans except for dinner with my parents (steak!) and am just going to chill for the weekend.  I hope maybe a trip to the beach will be in store if the weather is good enough.  Today it was 63 degrees F when I went by the big digital sign on the way to Rochester.  Yup, 1:32pm and 63’…you can’t beat that for February 25th of any year!  I hear from the news guys on TV that it was a record setter for most of New England.

I plan to do some writing this weekend.  I will give you another chapter of the DC story.  I’m keeping the story concise and a little bit in brevity as I plan to write out the longer more detailed version later.  But still the story is fun and the best part is it really happened!  I’m still working on digging up some of the photographs from DC.

More to come….

Peace & Love

~MB

 

MainelyButch Goes to Work…

So I have rejoined the workforce of America.  Yeah, I got a fucking job.  It’s about time huh?  I know I’ve been not working for too long when I am even bored with being bored!   Anyway, started working, got through the training and started on the front end counter today.  It’s nice to be around so many people; to see people I know from around town who come in and to meet so many new people as well.  And the crew that I am working with seems to be a pretty good bunch too.  I know most of them a little bit from my own frequenting of the store prior to getting a job there.  That’s basically how I got the job, I would go in there at lest once every day or two for something and I kept seeing the “help wanted” sign so finally I asked one of the guys I knew who already worked there and he took me and introduced me to the manager, who granted me an interview and offered me a job.  I love how connections and networking can lead from one thing to another, and you never really know where you’ll end up sometimes.

So, I like the job, it’s actually quite entertaining in some aspects.  I love interacting with people and believe me at a large convenience store/truck stop you find all different kinds of people frequent it.  I love to people watch (thumbs up to my Vancouver friend who also loves to people watch, it makes me think of you!) and there’s plenty of it to do at this place.

Today after work I stopped at Old Navy and bought a new pair of pants – pants now, not jeans – for work. I had to get some tan khaki pants.  The uniform at my new job is the company’s signature red polo shirt with the company logo on it and issued to you when you are hired, and either black or tan pants/jeans.  If they are jeans they have to be pitch black and not faded or ripped up.  I happened to own a nice pair or black Levi’s already which I have been wearing and washing every night to wear again the next day.  Now that I have another pair I can alternate and get away with doing laundry every couple of days.  They gave me 3 polo shirts, so once I pick up another pair of pants next pay day I can stretch the laundry out to twice a week.  Logical thinking huh?  *smirk*   Anyhooo…the pants are quite comfortable as I got the Broken-in Straights type so they’re not all stiff and stupid looking.  I’m so used to wearing blue jeans that this is all quite a change for me.

Nola and Lulu have settled in pretty much already to me being gone all morning.  I’m working the 7am to 1pm shift, only 6 hours a day, Monday through Fridays.  It’s a great shift, busy enough to keep me happy and the perfect hours for me to have the rest of each day to do other stuff, make appointments as needed and take care of other business.  Plus I have the weekends off – which is always a bonus!   I suspect that the dogs just sleep all morning but I leave the TV on for them just in-case they want to watch GMA (Good Morning America) hahaha.  I do miss that morning show, but I been getting up at 5am to catch the morning news and have a couple of cups of good coffee before I shower and head out the door for my shift.  When I get home they come bounding off of the couch to greet me at the door, all wiggly-giggly at my feet.  They are definitely happy to see me.

So that’s been my last few days, just getting used to this new endeavor of working once again; settling into a new schedule and enjoying it.

It’s been some fucking cold – and I mean it, FUCKING COLD – here in the Northeast lately.  Today the wind howled like holy hell, whipping the snow into a frenzy of dust storm proportion. It’s drifted the snow everywhere, especially into my previously shoveled driveway and walking path to the house.  I am hoping that the wind and temperatures will be better in the next 2 days so I can get it cleaned up once again before the storm rolls in this weekend…yes, we are predicted for a good sized storm this coming weekend.  I suppose that it was bound to happen, winter was bound to catch up to us. We’ve been extremely fortunate up til now with not much snow and actually very mild temps.  It  was just a matter of time before the real winter weather kicked in.  I am figuring that we’ll probably get beat on from here on out til late April…unless we get some kind of lucky!

I’m off to catch up on some reading here on WordPress, I see some of you have posted since I was last able to sit down and really do some good reading and I want to try to catch up tonight.  I hate falling behind on my blog reading and my news reading.  I always enjoy reading all of your blogs and am trying to keep myself up with comments and responses like I said that I would.

Peace!

~MB

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Rabbit Rabbit

Rabbit Rabbit…..it’s an old custom/suspicion to say Rabbit Rabbit on the first day of the new month, as your first words to greet the month and for good luck…which I desperately NEED right now.  I can’t sleep, my stomach is upset, my thoughts are jumbled and I’m having anxiety attacks faster than I can swallow the anti-anxiety pills.  Rabbit Rabbit, please fix this.

I’m up in the middle of the night, per usual, and reading.  I find reading can sometimes calm me and redirect my thoughts to other things.  It’s not working tonight so well, but I did just reblog a blog from SuddenAwareness about being Butch that was interesting.  I find that there are many flavors of Butch, I’m just one flavor and I do it MY way, as everyone should be free to do for themselves.  Butch type “traits” can be found in just about anyone actually, even if they don’t identify with Butch as their gender as I do.  The article is interesting, and really tears into the specifics of everything.

Coffee #2.  I have a close friend who is welcoming a new grandbaby into this world today, thank you C section.  Oh to be born on April 1st….the jokes will be endless for the child as she grows up I am sure.  I had an Aunt, rest her soul, who was born on this day.  It’s one of those birthday days that is not easily forgettable, kind of like being born on a leap year February 29th.  I just hope and pray the baby is born and everything is okay for both her and her mom.  I’m sure my friend will be present for the birth and will be right in line to hold the little bundle of joy….Congratulations to them all!  And welcome to this fucked up world little one!

Coffee #3….ok, I am wide awake!  Looks like a nap will be in order later today.

On a political note….Indiana, and now Arkansas, have passed these “religious freedom” bills that make it legal for businesses to discriminate against LGBT people, based upon the so-said “religious beliefs” of the business or it’s owners (i.e. Hobby Lobby as an example, hates LGBT people).  It’s all over social media and our news programs because it’s become a hot topic of debate this week.  Personally I was pretty shocked when the Indiana governor signed the bill into law.  It doesn’t make sense to have a law that is so blatantly wrong.  And it just shows how backwards some parts of our country still are today.

The backlash of passing such a law in Indiana and Arkansas has people like Apple’s CEO and now Walmart’s CEO saying they will boycott states that pass such discriminatory laws…One up for Walmart…years ago they were not on the right side of history on this issue either.  I recall in the early 80’s when an issue of Newsweek came out about “Lesbians” and Walmart would not sell the issue or display it on their racks (I happened to have been IN that issue as a lesbian veteran) and this caused a huge uproar in the LGBT community, making us boycott Walmart for some time.  I’m not saying that Walmart has gotten vastly better on this issue, but I think that they have progressed some.

Recently I visited the local new Hobby Lobby, just out of curiosity.  And it was just plain scary.  The religious overtone of the whole place was just weird.  Jesus was in about every display in some form or another, and I didn’t care for it being so blatantly in my face.  Plus the people even had been imported from some southern Baptist place it seemed.  Believe me my friend and I were watched carefully through our whole visit….and eyed with some serious amount of distrust.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, and I will never go back there.  It’s not a place I feel welcome or that I can support with my money.  I’ll be sticking with Michael’s for my crafting supplies, believe me.

I don’t believe that anyone has the right to discriminate against anyone else for race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or anything else.  In a perfect world this wouldn’t happen, but we don’t live in that perfect world.  I hope that the governor of Indiana lives up to his promise to fix the law so that it’s clear that it will not discriminate as it does now.  And as for Arkansas…well, they are just backwards to begin with.  I lived there in Arkansas for a short time, and the religious overtones and blatant discrimination drove me out –along with the very real amount of white supremacy and racism that I encountered while there.  It’s no wonder that the KKK still successfully thrives in Arkansas, and it’s a shameful thing.

With that being said, I am happy to say that Maine has anti-discrimination laws and I am glad that I live here.  It may not be the best climate (in my opinion because I hate winter) all the time, but it’s a nice place to live.  A very diverse area, where I can happily live and exist openly as a Butch lesbian without much fear of recrimination or discrimination.  While I have encountered discrimination here, it’s been from individuals and not from business entities.  I encountered severe discrimination and outward hatred in both Arkansas and Utah for being who I am…major incidents primarily with hospitals in both places occurred.  Sad events, but very eye-opening for sure.

Ok, I think I will have another coffee and try some more reading.  I hope you, dear readers, are having great days!

Peace

~MB

Daily Life in Maine…#3

In following the theme, here are some more great shots I have taken around the area, specifically around the shoreline of southern Maine where I live.  These were previously taken shots.   Today was a beautiful pre-spring day with temperatures up in the 40’s, so the thawing has started.  Once I am more able to get out in the weather and enjoy these days I will be posting much more recent photos.

A shot from Fort Foster, that's pretty complete, lighthouse, ship coming in and leisure boats drifting around
A shot from Fort Foster, that’s pretty complete, lighthouse, ship coming in and leisure boats drifting around
Spring sunrise
Spring sunrise
A stack of lobster traps on the wharf
A stack of lobster traps on the wharf
Pilated Woodpecker Spring 2014
Pilated Woodpecker Spring 2014